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NuSTAR


Artist concept of Nustar in orbit

The Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array Mission (NuSTAR) is an X-ray mission with the first focusing optics for hard X-rays (above 10 keV).NuStar is led by Caltech and managed by JPL for NASA's Science Mission Directorate. It was launched on June 13, 2012 from a Pegasus XL rocket near the Kwajalein Atoll, and placed in a low-inclination low-Earth orbit. Initially deployed for a two year mission, it continues to collect data.

Mission Characteristics

* Lifetime : July 2012–present
* Energy Range : 3–79 keV
* Special Features : the first hard X-ray focusing optics at higher X-ray energies.
* Payload :
  • Two coalined Conical Wolter-I mirrors focusing X-ray onto two Focal Plane Module Detectors (FPMA an FPMB).
    • The mirrors consists of 133 concentric conical multi-layer mirror shells. The mirror shells are coated with Pt/SiC and W/Si multilayers atop thin sheets of flexible glass, with graphite spacers between nested layers. They are mounted on a mast that was extented in space to provide a focal lenght of 10 m. A Metrology system of two lasers on the optics end that are pointed at three light-sensing detectors at the detector end of the telescope.
      Angular resolution: 58" (HPD), 18" (FWHM)
      FoV (50% resp.): 10' at 10 keV, 6' at 68 keV

    • The FPM detectors are Cadium-Zinc-Telluride (CdZnTe) rectangular crystals, 20 x 20 x 2 mm in size, divided into 32 x 32 gridded arrays of pixels. The detector privides an energy Resolution (FWHM): 400 eV at 10 keV, 900 eV at 68 keV
      The detectors are surrounded by Cesiun Iodide (CsI) crystals as active anti-coincidence detectors to register and reject background from high energy photons and cosmic rays entering the detector from off-axis directions.
* Science Highlights:
  • conducted a survey of black holes, monitor the mechanisms of their growth, and the radiation from infalling matter
  • study processes at the core of jet structures around super-massive black holes
  • map remnants of recent stellar explosions (novae, supernovae, and hypernovae)
  • study compact stellar remnants (black holes, neutron stars, and white dwarf stars)
  • provide insight into the solar corona and giant flares
* Archive: HEASARC hosts Event data , products and catalogs.
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Last modified: Thursday, 24-Sep-2020 17:21:49 EDT

The HEASARC is hiring! - Applications are now being accepted for a scientist with significant experience and interest in the technical aspects of astrophysics research, to work in the HEASARC at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) in Greenbelt, MD. Refer to the AAS Job register for full details.